Onclaude - Empowering Design Innovators Beta



Women in Action Sports Research Project

23rd of December 2013, 4 comments, category: Self-Initiated Projects

by Onclaude with Kristina Tool Studio

This project explores women's participation in action/outdoor sports using Design Thinking as a strategy to develop new innovative solutions.

As action and outdoor sports enthusiasts, Maria Serra, founder of Onclaude, and design strategist Kristina Tool (a member of our Design Innovators Network), has recognized that there remains a gap in women’s participation in these kind of activities and wanted to dedicate some attention to the topic.

They were curious to find out why and what could be done to close the gap!

The project has been launched during WIB (Women in Board & Action Sports Association)'s annual lunch at ISPO, the leading fair in the sports industry, which takes place in Munich (Germany). Watch the video of the presentation to get a quick idea of what the project is about:

What are "action sports"?

Also called "extreme sports" "alternative sports" or "adventure sports", action sports include board sports such as snowboarding, surfing (wave surfing, kitesurfing, stand up paddle surfing, wakeboarding), skateboarding and other activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking; BMX, skydiving and scuba diving among the most popular. 

What is Design Thinking?

Design Thinking is a user-centered, holistic approach which goes beyond traditional marketing research. Using this methodology, we can dig into problems to better understand what works and what doesn't and rapidly prototype new product and service ideas, leveraging collaboration between designers, businesses and users.  

Who are we looking for?
  • Are you an athlete/coach, a participant in action sports?
  • Are you simply an action sports lifestyle enthusiasts? 
  • You've never participated in any of these activities but are somehow attracted? 
  • Do you work in the action sports industry or in an industry linked to action sports? 
  • Are you a company offering products and services in this sector? 
  • Are you a designer who has worked on projects on action sports
  • or would like to?

We would like to hear from you!

How can you participate?

TELL US YOUR STORIES You can get started by simply posting a comment on this page, sharing your views and experience. This page will work as the project's blog (don't worry, you will be asked to sign up to the site to enter a comment, you can do it very quickly and easily!). 

CONTRIBUTE TO OUR SURVEY You can take part in the survey by just clicking on this link.

SHARE YOUR STORIES ON SOCIAL MEDIA -Join the conversation on our Facebook page. You're free to post images, videos, links to relevant content to express yourself and better represent your point of views. What are the barriers for women participation in action sports? Do let us know your thoughts! 

If you like, you can also participate by tweeting your views. If you use the words "women" and "action sports" in your tweet, don't forget to hashtag them (#women #actionsports). Onclaude's Twitter account is @onclaudeThe Women in Action Sports Design Thinking Tank hashtag for Facebook and Twitter is #wasdtt.

GET IN TOUCH - email us at info@onclaude.com if you would like to get involved in the project.

How we're going to work 

Step 1: open debate + survey + in-depth interviews

We have started a debate to understand better the perception on the barriers for women participation in action sports, women's difficulties, needs and desires. We're looking for answers to the following question: 

Why are there fewer men than women participating in these sports?

In order to go more in-depth with these issues, we've launched a survey, which will help us to better understand the issue. 

We are also interviewing professional athletes, action sports enthusiasts and professionals working in the industry (please drop us a message if you are interested in being interviewed). By learning more from participants and associated industry workers we can better understand why gaps exist which can lead us to new solutions for increasing female participation in action sports. At the end of the research, we will compile a report which analyses all of the experiences we collected and will share it with you.

Step 2: interactive workshop sessions

We will involve interested industry partners in the project and, at that point, we will expand the venture to observation, ideation and prototyping through interactive workshops.

Step 3: call for designers

We will identify in our Innovators Network the designers which could best provide solutions to the challenges identified and we will invite them to work on the project.

Are you ready for the challenge? 


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Michelle Schacht about 5 years ago


Very interesting. I am the Product Manager for Powersports at CTP Transportation Products. My company manufactures Carlisle and ITP branded tires for ATV/UTV, as well as Ultimax snowmobile belts. I currently sponsor women racers as well as youth racers. In addition, I have attended several Women's leadership programs and held seminars for high school females to encourage them to push their boundaries. I would like to follow your study and results and participate as needed.

Maria Serra about 5 years ago


Welcome Michelle and thank you for your interest! Great to hear about your company and what you do in supporting women athletes and encouraging women's participation in action sports. We'll be happy to keep you informed and get you involved. From the point of view of Powersports, what do you reckon are the reasons why women still find it hard to push the boundaries?

jacopoing about 5 years ago


We are building the world reference community for action sports at www.milkywatribe.com. Please, go and check it: everybody can subscribe for free, declare his/her geolocation and the sports he loves practicing. More, everybody can upload spots and share them with the community. Our FB pages count more than 230k Fans and more exciting features are to come this year. Hope this can help making network for she-riders!

Maria Serra about 5 years ago


Hello Jacopo, thanks for your interest in the project. We'll be happy to check the community you're building, which sounds like an interesting opportunity to encourage women's participation in actions sports, and to create potential synergies with you. Feel free the share our project and survey on your social media pages and getting your users involved in our research!